Thursday, September 25, 2014

QuinnFail: Massive Kmart closings by Sears Holdings

Pat Quinn's Illinois flag
In 2011, the same year Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn "temporarily" raised--by a lot--personal and corporate income taxes, Sears Holdings, which owns the Sears and Kmart retail outlets and several brand names, asked for a tax break as an incentive to keep it from moving its headquarters from Illinois. Sears' has been based in the Chicago area since the 1890s.

Quinn and his fellow Democrats caved in and handed Sears those tax breaks.

Where is my tax cut?

Sears Holdings might go under as soon as 2016. That doesn't mean the death will be sudden. Local news sites are peppered with reports that nearby Kmarts are closing. How many exactly? We have to wait until November to find out that number. A quick perusal of "Kmart closing" on Google News search shows that the death toll is more than a handful. Zooming in on Quinn's long-suffering Illinois, three Kmarts are closing. Last week the company announced the shuttering of two Illinois Sears outlets.

Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly should have told Sears Holdings to get lost. Oh, the company is not an innocent babe here. Instead of focusing on ways to pay less taxes, the onetime retail giant should have been dedicated to finding ways to attract shoppers to their stores so they can buy stuff.

The campaign of Bruce Rauner, the Republican businessman who is running to replace the Chicago Democrat should be making an issue of this egregious example of corporate welfare.

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